Tag Archives: compassion2one

Bringing Out Your Brilliance: OTHERS

“Mister, can I ask you a question? Are you an angel?”

As I boarded this flight to the Philippines a few months back, I wasn’t in my “A+” attitude. Truth be told, I was in a bit of a cloudy funk. Nursing a ruptured disc in my lower back, I literally couldn’t stand up for more than three minutes without feeling extreme pain. The thought of sitting on a plane for 20 hours ranked with root canal surgery.

But I am a good soldier. And as co-founder and president of compassion2one, the non-profit Julie and I founded to help victims of sex trafficking, it was an essential trip that I had made a commitment to. So I was, stuck, committed. Did I mention that it was August and 95 degrees with humidity? It felt like there were zillions of people everywhere, there was smog. I stopped for a moment and focused myself on the goal. I sat there and reminded myself who I was and what I was doing. “Hello Mr. Emotionally Intelligent! Mr. Coach Steve! Hello!”

The Night that Changed My World

On our fifth night of our trip we had arranged to go directly into the “Red Light District” to feed local prostitutes and provide hygiene packs. The proper arrangements were made my local volunteers that were also coming to help.

As we arrived in our little cabs, there they were. There were over 150 moms, babies, and children lined up on the sidewalk. We served rice cups and passed out the hygiene packs. They were a group of truly grateful hearts and open souls.

One thin woman with a baby on her hip kept following me, brushing against me and looking into my eyes. I would smile and ask if she had everything she needed. I felt it was more of a sense of security she was searching for. She would look at me as a teenager would look to a father figure. After all she was a teen mom; she could have been my daughter.

Finally, having done all we could for the night, we headed back to the cabs. Yet the young woman followed me. As I climbed in the car, she bent down and said the words that are forever burned in my soul:

“Mr. can I ask you a question? Are you an angel?”

I was speechless. I stammered out something along the lines “no honey, I am just a guy from Seattle here to let you know you are loved and that you matter to me.” Simple words! Inadequate words! As we drove back to our hotel I put my head back against the seat. I asked God to forgive me for my narrow, self-serving attitude. I asked Him to somehow, in some way, change me so I could serve better. For after all, my stated purpose is to inspire OTHERS to greatness. Not myself. OTHERS.

My Personal Challenge to Myself (and maybe you?)

  • In business… whatever your business focus is, focus 100% on OTHERS. 100%
  • In relationships… quit the narrow thought process of “what can I get.” Be a true giver with heart and soul
  • In assignments of family and friends… seek their good, their interest. Not just yours

I never want to pretend to anyone that I am a great leader or a great man. I want to strive towards greatness by putting others first. It is a life-long quest!

My mentor gave me a little sign before he passed away. It sits on my desk and it reads “Others.”

Final note: if you’re still wondering, no, I am not an Angel. Not even close. But we can all strive to live our lives angelically.

You matter to me. Feel Angelic!

IMAGINE: Success and Significance

There’s a woman I know who blogs from the Toronto Area. She has three spectacular boys and a wonderful husband. And somehow, someway, she still manages to make time to write about victims of sex trafficking. Why does she make time for this?”

One of my clients had just signed the largest contract in Seattle sports history! We were sitting in his brand new Mercedes Sedan when he said something shocking, “Steve, I know all about success but I am clueless about significance.”

He is not alone. You see, I think our culture, your culture, my culture, is fixated on success. The symbols of it, the toys that surround it, the seductive lifestyle we all secretly, and sometimes overtly, covet. But wait before you jump on the soap-box with me. I’d like to suggest success isn’t all bad. In fact, I have a conviction you may or may not agree with:

I believe success is in most cases a necessary platform to significance.

You need some success. Admittedly, success is “me and my family.” It might be a little bit selfish, but I enjoy a certain measure of success. Being somewhat professionally successful has been a blessing to my family. It has allowed us to live in a nice home (albeit not a luxury home) and allowed us to afford to put the kids through college without accumulating a huge debt.

Success has also allowed Julie and I, at a crucial defining moment in our lives, to leverage our resources to start a non-profit, compassion2one. Through our non-profit we help rescue victims of sex trafficking “saving one child at a time.”


Significance is a totally different animal from success. It is when you come to a place and realize…

  • I can only eat one meal at a time
  • I can only drive one car at a time
  • I can only live in one house at a time
  • I can only love one person passionately at a time

Significance is about others, making a difference in the lives of others. Even when most of those others can never pay you back.

Lora Rossi @thehugginghome

I met Lora through Twitter. Her charm captured my attention. Soon, I looked more closely and found her heartfelt (and a little sassy) blog. She found out about our cause at compassion2one and offered to post a blog to bring awareness to another group of followers. That was a significant moment. Her post drew significant attention. We asked if we could put it on our website. After a short period of time, Lora became our new Editorial Contributor as well as Canadian Awareness Director. That is pretty significant!

Let’s talk about the other side of Lora too. She is a hockey mom, a freelance writer, a home décor expert and a fabulous wife and mother. Bottom line: she’s busy! Like CRAZY busy. But still, she has decided that she is not too busy to be both successful and significant.

When I take a moment to think about the work she is putting in, along with so many other “difference-makers,” I get misty eyed. Carving out time for the significance now, not waiting until some other day. Finding and making time for others.

Lora has been very successful in the corporate marketplace and is taking this time now to stride forward in her career as a freelance writer. She is gaining well deserved success and attention. But I love the fact that she recognizes that she can be both successful and significant. And that it is important to be both. She can strive for both, and both are good to strive for.

Lora, keep it up! You inspire me and others and you are making a difference in the lives of others!

Let’s refocus for a moment.

How are you successful? How are you Significant? Imagine how you could be both successful and significant!

  • Work hard and leverage your success for the purpose of significance
  • Decide today to make a difference in the lives of others
  • Make a difference with others who want to make a difference, Team up!
  • Choose something, a cause, a purpose, something that touches your soul and changes lives
  • Make this year your year to give some of your time, talents or treasures

Side note: my Seattle sports client, as a result of our discussion, decided to give 15% of his income to charities. He is now retired and has his own foundation. He is living, what I think he would be proud to call, a successful and significant life.

Lora Rossi does her chores, drives her young hockey stars to the rink multiple times a week, writes, cooks, works out, and loves her boys and her husband. She has built a successful life around her and created her imagined life through adding another form of significance. She makes time to help victims of sex trafficking by using her talents and resources as a successful writer and blogger.

I hope that you too can Play Big and find time to turn your success into significance! 

Follow Lora at @thehugginghome on Twitter and on her blog The Hugging Home.